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View Full Version : Trial proves we can halt scandal of fish wasted eu rules



Davie Tait
2nd December 2012, 14:37
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/361937/Trial-proves-we-can-halt-scandal-of-fish-wasted-EU-rules



Sunday December 2,2012
By Stuart Winter

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THE scandal of fit-for-the-table fish being thrown back into the seas because of EU *quotas would end if Britain had control of its fish stocks, tests reveal.

Sea trials have highlighted the *wastefulness of the current system under which thousands of tons of prime fish are discarded by crews who cannot take their catches to market.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon, an outspoken critic of “discards”, has backed the trials which lend huge weight to *demands for a change in EU rules.

The Minister says he believes EU policy is too centralised and bureaucratic and has been leading calls to give *European countries more say in the way their own fisheries are managed.

Sunday Express reports have revealed how five million dead cod were thrown back into the North Sea over a three-year period.

The terrible waste denies families cheaper fish and causes a *continuing *environmental *catastrophe around Britain’s coastline.

In the latest trials, carried out by *fishermen in the South West and the North Sea, discards of sole, cod, plaice, megrim and anglerfish were “virtually eliminated”, according to the Marine Management Organisation, which *supervised the tests on behalf of Defra.

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Discarding perfectly good fish is a waste of our natural resources
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Environment Minister Richard Benyon

By using new practices, fishermen in the North Sea reduced the amount of cod *discarded from 38 per cent of a catch to just 0.2 per cent.

In the trials, trawlers were not allowed to discard any fish, including those below minimum size.

They had to land all of the species they caught so that they could be measured against their quota.

Data from on-board monitoring equipment, including CCTV, was used to make sure the trial conditions were kept.

It is now hoped that the evidence produced during the trials will be used in Brussels as a new Commons Fishery Policy is put together. EU quotas were introduced to protect fish stocks but have been widely condemned as wasteful and destructive.

Mr Benyon said: “I am *delighted that these results show that the UK continues to lead the way in Europe in *trialling schemes which tackle discards through managing fisheries by what is caught, not what is landed.

“I am keen for these trials to be rolled out to other fisheries in advance of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

“Discarding perfectly good fish is a waste of our natural resources. My aim is to create sustainable fisheries around the UK, which are good for the *environment and for fishermen at the same time.”

Andrew Pillar, fleet manager at Interfish based in Plymouth, which had three vessels in the trial, said: “It’s important that these *trials have involved fishermen from the start to see how practical measures can improve selectivity and reduce discards.

“We want to continue testing this concept with more species to see if it can make a long-term difference.”

Davie Tait
3rd December 2012, 15:45
http://www.fishnewseu.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9448:discard-breakthrough&catid=44:uk&Itemid=55

Discard breakthrough

Monday, 03 December 2012 09:42

A REPORT issued by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on Friday shows that the virtual elimination of discards can be achieved – those cod vessels taking part in the trial achieved discard levels of only 0.2 per cent, compared to a 38% average in the North Sea fishery.

The report shows discards of important stocks – such as sole, cod, plaice, megrim and anglerfish – have been drastically reduced in the trials carried out by the MMO through 2012 with North Sea and West Channel fishermen.

This year's trials have increased both the number of vessels and the number of species involved since beginning in 2011.

The MMO is operating the trials on behalf of the DEFRA as part of the UK’s initiative to tackle the problem of discarding fish.

The report details how the practice could be an alternative method of managing fisheries, at a time when the Common Fisheries Policy is undergoing reform. The trials encourage fishermen to fish more selectively and land all of what they catch. Participating vessels were provided with additional quota that amounted to three quarters of the amount typically discarded in these fisheries.

The trial shows that the North Sea cod trawl fishery discard levels could be reduced from 38% to 0.2%, the Area VIIe sole beam trawl fishery from 28% to 0.1%, the Area VIId and e beam trawl fishery from 8% to 0.2%, the Area VII anglerfish beam trawl fishery from 6% to 1.1% and the Area VII megrim beam trawl fishery from 12% to 1.3%.

Seven vessels took part in the trials in the South West, along with twelve in the North Sea. The boats were not permitted to discard any of the species in the trials, including those below the minimum size. They had to land all of the fish of these species that they caught so they all counted against their quota. Data from onboard monitoring equipment, including CCTV cameras, was used to check the conditions of the trial were adhered to.

Catches of undersized fish in the trial were also low, suggesting that boats are fishing more selectively.

James Cross, Chief Executive of the MMO, said: "This is really good news for all those interested in a long-term, sustainable future for our fishing industry. By working with fishermen to develop innovative solutions, we hope to reduce waste of our marine resources while increasing healthy seas and fish stocks for the future.

"The excellent results of the latest trials show how important working together can be for finding alternative ways of managing fisheries."

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said "I am delighted that these results show that the UK continues to lead the way in Europe in trialling schemes which tackle discards through managing fisheries by what is caught, not what is landed. I am keen for these trials to be rolled out to other fisheries in advance of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

"Discarding perfectly good fish is a waste of our natural resources. My aim is to create sustainable fisheries around the UK which are good for the environment and for fishermen at the same time."

Andrew Pillar, Fleet Manager at Interfish based in Plymouth, has three vessels in the trial. He said: "It’s important that these trials have involved fishermen from the start to see how practical measures can improve selectivity and reduce discards. We want to continue testing this concept with more species to see if it can make a long-term difference."